By Gary Watton
February 25 2017
Arguably the best scrum half in the world, big Conor Murray scored the only try of this dour but compelling struggle and was also pivotal in Ireland's first half revival after their second sluggish start in the 2017 Six Nations. This time, France didn't emulate Scotland by building an unassailable lead, but it took a disqualified try to get the Irish out of jail. After conceding a six-point lead to the visitors, the Oirish actually proceeded to win the rest of the skirmish by an emphatic nineteen points to three, denying the away team even the crumb of a losing bonus point.
The crucial fact was that Ireland prevented a try, which means that the opposition would be required to kick about seven penalties to stand any chance of victory. In summary, the greens' scrum held its own and the line-out more than held its own, whilst our back row excelled themselves again. Then of course there was the returning Sexton who played like he had not been absent in recent weeks. By contrast, the consensus of opinion is that Kearney and Zebo had matches to forget, while young Ringrose continues to impress.
Next on the agenda is a trip to Cardiff. The Welsh will be licking their wounds from two consecutive defeats, and changes can be expected. If the Irish play their cards right, they can and should translate their superiority on paper into a successful visit.
IRELAND 19 France 9; in Dublin; Saturday the 25th of February 2017.
10 Sexton (two penalties, drop goal, conversion)
9 Murray [TRY]
2 Best (captain)
Used replacements: Trimble, Healy, Henderson, O'Mahony, Scannell, Jackson [penalty], Ryan.J, Marmion